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Giov. There's no evasion, Lidia,
Sister, the Broken Heart, and Love's Sacrifice. He ! "o gain the least delay, though I would buy it next wrote Perkin Warbeck, a correct and spirited byt any rate. Greatness, with private men
historical drama. Two other pieces, Fancies Chaste steem'd a blessing, is to me a curse;
and Noble, and the Lady's Trial, produced in 1638 nd we, whom, for our high births, they conclude and 1639, complete the list of Ford's works. He is ? he only freemen, are the only slaves :
supposed to have died shortly after the production Llappy the golden mean! Had I been born
of his last play. "a a poor sordid cottage, not nursed up
A tone of pensive tenderness and pathos, with a Vitli expectation to command a court,
peculiarly soft and musical style of blank verse, might, like such of your condition, sweetest,
characterise this poet. The choice of his subjects iave ta’en a safe and middle course, and not,
was unhappy, for he has devoted to incestuous pass I am now, against my choice, compellid;
sion the noblest offerings of his muse. The scenes Ar to lie grovelling on the earth, or raised
in his · Brother and Sister,' descriptive of the crimi19. o high upon the pinnacles of state,
nal loves of Annabella and Giovanni, are painfully That I must either keep my height with danger, interesting and harrowing to the feelings, but conir fall with certain ruin.
tain his finest poetry and expression. The old draLidia. Your own goodness
matists loved to sport and dally with such forbidWill be your faithful guard.
den themes, which tempted the imagination, and Giov. O, Lidia ! For had I been your equal, awoke those slumbering fires of pride, passion, and I might have seen and lik'd with mine own eyes,
wickedness, that lurk in the recesses of the human And not, as now, with others. I might still,
heart. They lived in an age of excitement the And without observation or envy,
newly-awakened intellect warring with the senses As I have done, continued my delights
--the baser parts of humanity with its noblest quaWith you, that are alone, in my esteem,
lities. In this struggle, the dramatic poets were T'he abstract of society : we might walk
plunged, and they depicted forcibly what they saw in solitary grores, or in choice gardens;
and felt. Much as they wrote, their time was not from the variety of curious flowers
spent in shady retirement; they fiung themselves Contemplate nature's workmanship and wonders :
into the full tide of the passions, sounded its depths, Ind then, for change, near to the murmur of
wrestled with its difficulties and defilements, and tome bubbling fountain, I might hear you sing,
were borne onwards in headlong career. A few, And, from the well-tuned accents of your tongue,
like poor Marlow and Greene, sunk early in unde- in my imagination conceive
plored misery, and nearly all were unhappy. This ith what melodious harmony a choir
very recklessness and daring, however, gave a mighty Df angels sing above their Maker's praises.
impulse and freedom to their genius. They were Ind then, with chaste discourse, as we return'd,
emancipated from ordinary restraints; they were mp feathers to the broken wings of Time : And all this I must part from.
strong in their sceptic pride and self-will; they
surveyed the whole of life, and gave expression to - One word more,
those wild half-shaped thoughts and unnatural Ind then I come. And after this, when, with
promptings, which wiser conduct and reflection Continued innocence of love and service,
would have instantly repressed and condemned. Chad grown ripe for hymencal joys,
With them, the passion of love was an all-pervadEmbracing you, but with a lawful flame,
ing fire, that consumed the decencies of life; someI might have been your husband. Lidia. Sir, I was,
times it was gross and sensual, but in other mo
ments imbued with a wild preternatural sweetness And ever am, your servant; but it was, And 'tis far from ine in a thought to cherish,
and fervour. Anger, pity, jealousy, revenge, reSuch saucy hopes. If I had been the heir
morse, and the other primary feelings and elements Jf all the globes and sceptres mankind bows to,
of our nature, were crowded into their short existAt my best you had deserv'd me; as I am,
ence as into their scenes. Nor was the light of Howe'er unworthy, in my virgin zeal,
religion quenched: there were glimpses of heaven I wish you, as a partner of your bed,
in the midst of the darkest vice and debauchery. A princess equal to you ; such a one
The better genius of Shakspeare lifted him above That may make it the study of her life,
this agitated region ; yet his “Venus and Adonis,' With all the obedience of a wife, to please you ;
and the 'Sonnets,' show that he had been at one time May you have happy issue, and I live
soiled by some of its impurities. Ford was appaTo be their humblest handmaid !
rently of regular deportment, but of morbid diseased _Grov. I am dumb, and can make no reply ;
imagination.* His latest biographer (Mr Hartley This kiss, bathed in tears,
Coleridge) suggests, that the choice of horrible stoMay learn you what I should say.
ries for his two best plays may have been merely an exercise of intellectual power. His moral sense was gratified by indignation at the dark possibilities
of sin, and by compassion for rare extremes of sufJOHN FORD.
fering.' Ford was destitute of the fire and grandeur Contemporary with Massinger, and possessing of the heroic drama. Mr Charles Lamb ranks him kindred tastes and powers, was John FORD (1586– with the first order of poets; but this praise is exces1039). This author wisely trusted to a regular | sive. Admitting his sway over
sive. Admitting his sway over the tender passions, profession, not to dramatic literature, for his sup- and the occasional beauty of his language and conport. He was of a good Devonshire family, and ceptions, he wants the elevation of great genius. bred to the law. His first efforts as a writer for He has, as Hallam remarks, the power over tears; the stage, were made in unison with Webster and for he makes his readers sympathise even with his Dekker. He also joined with the latter, and with vicious characters. Rowley, in composing the Witch of Edmonton, already mentioned, the last act of which seems to be Ford's. * Some unknown contemporary has preserved a graphic trait In 1628 appeared the Lover's Melancholy, dedicated of Ford's appearance and reserved deportment to his friends of the Society of Gray's Inn. In 1633 • Deep in a dump John Ford alone was got, were printed his three tragedies, the Brother and
With folded arms and melancholy hat.'
(A Dying Bequest.)
Of mere imagination ! Speak the last.
I strangely like thy will.
Pen. This jewel, madam,
Is dearly precious to me ; you must use
This gift as I intend it. At all times have cominanded.
Cal. Do not doubt me. Pen, Tis a benefit
Pen. 'Tis long ago, since first I lost my heart; Which I shall owe your goodness even in death for. Long I have liv'd without it: but instead My glass of life, sweet princess, hath few minutes
Of it, to great Calantha, Sparta's heir, Remaining to run down ; the sands are spent :
By service bound, and by affection vow'd, For, by an inward messenger, I feel
I do bequeath in holiest rites of love The summons of departure short and certain.
Mine only brother Ithocles. Cal. You feed too much your melancholy.
Cal. What saidst thou ? Pen. Glories
Pen. Impute not, heav'n-blest lady, to ambition, Of human greatness are but pleasing dreams,
A faith as humbly perfect as the prayers And shadows soon decaying : on the stage
Of a devoted suppliant can endow it : Of my mortality my youth hath acted
| Look on him, princess, with an eye of pity; Some scenes of vanity, drawn out at length :
How like the ghost of what he late appear'd By varied pleasures sweeten'd in the mixture,
He moves before you ! But tragical in issue.
Cal. Shall I answer here, Cal. Contemn not your condition for the proof
Or lend my ear too grossly! Of bare opinion only : to what end
Pen. First his heart Reach all these moral texts ?
Shall fall in cinders, scorch'd by your disdain, Pen. To place before ye
Ere he will dare, poor man, to ope an eye A perfect mirror, wherein you may see
On these divine looks, but with low-bent thoughts How weary I am of a lingering life,
Accusing such presumption : as for words, Who count the best a misery.
He dares not utter any but of service; Cal. Indeed
Yet this lost creature loves you. Be a princess You have no little cause; yet none so great
In sweetness as in blood ; give him his doom, As to distrust a remedy.
Or raise him up to comfort. Pen. That remedy
Cal. What new change Must be a winding-sheet, a fold of lead,
Appears in my behaviour, that thou darest And some untrod-on corner in the earth.
Tempt my displeasure ? Not to detain your expectation, princess,
Pen. I must leave the world, . I have an humble suit.
To revel in Elysium ; and 'tis just Cal. Speak, and enjoy it.
To wish my brother some advantage here. Pen. Vouchsafe, then, to be my executrix;
Yet by my best hopes, Ithocles is ignorant And take that trouble on ye, to dispose
Of this pursuit. But if you please to kill him, Such legacies as I bequeath impartially :
Lend him one angry look, or one harsh word, I have not much to give, the pains are easy :
And you shall soon conclude how strong a power Heaven will reward your piety and thank it,
Your absolute authority holds over When I am dead : for sure I must not live;
His life and end. I hope I cannot.
Cal. You have forgot, Penthea, Cal. Now beshrew thy sadness;
How still I have a father. Thou turn'st me too much woman.
Pen. But remember Pen. Her fair eyes
I am sister : though to me this brother Melt into passion : then I have assurance
Hath been, you know, unkind, O most unkind. Encouraging my boldness. In this paper
Cal. Christalla, Philema, where are ye ! Lady, My will was character'd ; which you, with parlon, | Your check lies in my silence. Shall now know from mine own mouth. Cal. Talk on, prithee;
[Contention of a Bird and a Musician.)* It is a pretty earnest. Pen. I have left me
(From the Lover's Melancholy.") But three poor jewels to bequeath. The first is
MENAPhox and AMETHUS. My youth; for though I am much old in griefs, | Men. Passing from Italy to Greece, the tales In years I am a child.
Which poets of an elder time bave feign'd Cal. To whom that?
To glorify their Tempe, bred in me Pen. To virgin wives ; such as abuse not wedlock
Desire of visiting that paradise. By freedom of desires, but covet chiefly
To Thessaly I came; and living private, The pledges of chaste beds, for ties of love
Without acquaintance of more sweet companions Rather than ranging of their blood : and next, Than the old inmates to my love, my thoughts, To married maids ; such as prefer the number
I day by day frequented silent groves, Of honourable issue in their virtues,
And solitary walks. One morning early Before the flattery of delights by marringe ;
This accident encounter'd me: I heard May those be ever young
The sweetest and most ravishing contention, Cal. A second jewel
That art [and] nature ever were at strife in. You mean to part with ?
Amet. I cannot yet conceive what you infer Pon. 'Tis my fame; I trust
By art and nature. By scandal yet untouch'd : this I bequeath
Men. I shall soon resolve you. To Memory and Time's old daughter, Truth.
A sound of music touch'd mine ears, or rather, If ever my unhappy name find mention,
Indeed, entranced my soul : As I stole nearer, When I am fall'n to dust, may it deserve
Invited by the melody, I saw Beseeming charity without dishonour. Cal. How handsomely thou play'st with harmless * For an amplification of the subject of this extract, see article sport
• RICHARD CRASRAW.'
- - - --- -- -
This youth, this fair-faced youth, upon his lute, his ready pen down to the year 1640. In one of his With strains of strange variety and harmony,
prologues, he thus adverts to the various sources of Proclaiming, as it seem'd, so bold a challenge his multifarious labours : To the clear choristers of the woods, the birds,
To give content to this most curious age,
The gods themselves we've brought down to the stayc, A me. And so do I ; good! on
And figured them in planets ; made even hell
Deliver up the furies, by no spell Meu. A nightingale,
(Saving the muse's rapture) further we Sature's best skill'd musician, undertakes
Have traffick'd by their help ; no history The challenge, and for every several strain
We have left unritled ; our pens have been dipt The well-shaped youth could touch, she sung her own;
As well in opening each hid manuscript He could not run division with more art
As tracks more vulgar, whether read or sung l'pon his quaking instrument, than she,
In our domestic or more foreign tongue :
Of fairies, elves, nymphs of the sea and land,
The lawus, the groves, no number can be scanni That such they were, than hope to hear again.
Which we have not given feet to. Amet. How did the rivals part !
This was written in 1637, and it shows how eager Plen. You term them rightly ;
the play-going public were then for novelties, though For they were rivals, and their mistress, harmony. they possessed the theatre of Shakspeare and his Some time thus spent, the young man grew at last contemporaries. The death of Heywood is equally Into a pretty anger, that a bird
unknown with the date of his birth. As a dramatist, Whom art had never taught clefs, moods, or notcs, he had a poetical fancy and abundance of classical Should vie with himn for mastery, whose study
imagery ; but his taste was defective; and scenes of Had busied many hours to perfect practice:
low buffoonery, merry accidents, intermixed with To end the controversy, in a rapture
apt and witty jests,' deform his pieces. His humour, L'pon his instrument he plays so swiftly,
however, is more pure and moral than that of most 80 many voluntaries, and so quick,
of his contemporaries, There is a natural repose in That there was curiosity and cunning,
his scenes,' says a dramatic critic, which contrasts Concord in discord, lines of differing method
pleasingly with the excitement that reigns in most Meeting in one full centre of delight.
of his contemporaries. Middleton looks upon his Anet. Now for the bird.
characters with the feverish anxiety with which we Men. The bird, ordain'd to be
listen to the trial of great criminals, or watch their Music's first martyr, strove to imitate
behaviour upon the scaffold. Webster lays out their These several sounds : which, when her warbling corpses in the prison, and sings the dirge over them throat
when they are buried at midnight in unhallowed Failid in, for grief, down dropp'd she on his lute, ground. Heywood leaves his characters before they And brake her heart! It was the quaintest sadness, come into these situations. He walks quietly to and To see the conqueror upon her hearse,
fro among them while they are yet at large as memTo weep a funeral elegy of tears;
bers of society; contenting himself with a sad smile That, trust me, my Amethus, I could chide
at their follies, or with a frequent warning to theni Mine own unmanly weakness, that made me
on the consequences of their crimes.' ** The followA fellow-mourner with him.
ing description of Psyche, from • Love's Mistress,' is Auct. I believe thee.
in his best manner :Men. He look'd upon the trophies of his art, Then sigh'd, then wiped his eyes, then sigh'd and
ADMETI'S.-ASTIOCHE.--PETRKA. cried :
Adm. Welcome to both in one! Oh, can you tell * Alas, poor creature ! I will soon revenge
What fate your sister hath ? This cruelty upon the author of it:
Both. Psyche is well. Henceforth this lute, guilty of innocent blood,
Adm. So among inortals it is often said, Shall never more betray a harmless peace
Children and friends are well when they are dead. To an untimely end : and in that sorrow,
Ast. But Psyche lives, and on her breath attend As he was pashing it against a tree,
Delights that far surmount all earthly joy ; I suddenly stept in.
Music, sweet voices, and ambrosiau fare ; Amet. 'l'hou hast discours'd
Winds, and the light-wing'd creatures of the air ; A truth of mirth and pity.
Clear channell’d rivers, springs, and flowery meals,
Are proud when Psyche wantons on their streains, THOMAS HEYWOOD.
When Psyche on their rich embroidery treads,
When Psyche gilds their crystal with her bcams. THOMAS HEYWOOD was one of the most indefati. We have but seen our sister, and, behold! gable of dramatic writers. He had, as he informs She sends us with our laps full brimm'd with gold. his readers, .an entire hand, or at least a main finger,' in two hundred and twenty plays. He wrote In 1635, Heywood published a poem entitled the also several prose works, besides attending to his Hierarchy of Angels. Various songs are scattered business as an actor. Of his huge dramatic library, through Heywood's neglected plays, some of them only twenty-three plays have come down to us, the easy and flowing: best of which are, À Tioman Killed with Kindness, the English Traveller, A Challenge for Beauty, the Royal
Pack clouds away, and welcome day, ticulars respecting Heywood's life and history have
With night we banish sorrow :. been gleaned from his own writings and the dates of
Sweet air blow soft, mount lark aloft, his plays. The time of his birth is not known; but
To give my love good morrow :
Wings from the wind to please her muind, he was a native of Lincolnshire, and was a fellow of Peter. House, Cambridge: he is found writing
Notes from the lark I'll borrow : for the stage in 1596, and he continued to exercise
* Edinburgh Review, vol. 63, p. 23.
Bird, prune thy wing, nightingale, sing, To give my lore good morrow.
To give my love good morrow,
Notes from them all I'll borrow. Wake from thy nest, robin red-breast,
Sing, birds, in every furrow ; And from each bill let music shrill
Give my fair love good inortow. Blackbird and thrush in every bush,
Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
To give my love good morrow,
As to the sea, what next came to their hand,
A fourth bestrides his fellow, thinking to 'scape
Shepherd's Song. We that have known no greater state Than this we live in, praise our fate ; For courtly silks in cares are spent, When country's russet breeds content. The power of sceptres we admire, But sheep-hooks for our use desire. Simple and low is our condition, For here with us is no ambition : We with the sun our flocks unfold, Whose rising makes their fleeces gold ; Our music from the birds we borrow, They bidding us, we them, good morrow. Our habits are but coarse and plain, Yet they defend from wind and rain ; As warm too, in an equal eye, As those be-stain'd in scarlet dye. The shepherd, with his home-spun lass, As many merry hours doth pass, As courtiers with their costly girls, Though richly deck'd in gold and pearls ; And, though but plain, to purpose woo, Nav, often with less danger too. Those that delight in dainties' store, One stomach feed at once, no more ; And, when with homely fare we feast, . With us it doth as well digest; And many times we better speed, For our wild fruits no surfeits breed. If we sometimes the willow wear, By subtle swains that dare forswear, We wonder whence it comes, and fear They've been at court and learnt it there.
JAMES SHIRLEY. The last of these dramatists—' a great race,' says, Mr Charles Lamb, all of whom spoke nearly the same language, and had a set of moral feelings and ' notions in common-was JAMES SHIRLEY. born in London in 1596. Designed for holy orders, Shirley was educated first at Oxford, where Archbishop Laud refused to ordain him on account of his appearance being disfigured by a mole on his left cheek. He afterwards took the degree of A.M. at Cambridge, and officiated as curate near St Albans. Like his brother divine and poet, Crashaw, Shirley embraced the communion of the church of Rome. He lived as a schoolmaster in St Albans, but afterwards settled in London, and became a voluminous dramatic writer. Thirty-nine plays proceeded from his prolific pen; and a modern edition of his works, edited by Gifford, is in six octavo volumes. When the Master of the Revels, in 1633, licensed Shirley's play of the Young Admiral, he entered on his books an expression of his admiration of the drama, because | it was free from oaths, profaneness, or obsceneness ; trusting that his approbation would encourage the poet 'to pursue this beneficial and cleanly way of poetry.' Shirley is certainly less impure than most of his contemporaries, but he is far from faultless in this respect. His dramas seem to have been tolerably successful. When the civil wars broke out, the poet exchanged the pen for the sword, and took the field under his patron the Earl of Newcastle. After the cessation of this struggle, a still worse misfortune befell our author, in the shutting of the theatres, and he was forced to betake himself to his former occupation of a teacher. The Restoration does not seem to have mended his fortunes. In 1666, the great fire of London drove the poet and his family from their house in Whitefriars; and shortly after this event, both he and his wife died on the same day. A life of various labours and reverses, thus found a sudden and tragic termination. Shirley : plays have less force and dignity than those of Massinger ; less pathos than those of Ford. His comedies have the tone and manner of good society: Mr Campbell has praised his polished and refined dialect,' the 'airy touches of his expression, the dell: cacy of his sentiments, and the beauty of his similes. He admits, however, what every reader feels, the want in Shirley of any strong passion or engrossing inte rest. Hallam more justly and comprehensively states- Shirley has no originality, no force in con, ceiving or delineating character, little of pathos, and less, perhaps, of wit; his dramas produce po decp impression in reading, and of course can leave note
(Shipureck by Drink.]
-This gentleman and I
in the memory. But his mind was poetical; his To be the lady of six shires ! The men, better characters, especially females, express pure So near the primitive making, they retain thoughts in pure language; he is never tumid or A sense of nothing but the earth ; their brains affected, and seldom obscure; the incidents succeed | And barren heads standing as much in want rapidly, the personages are numerous, and there is Of ploughing as their ground : to hear a fellow a general animation in the scenes, which causes us | Make himself merry and his horse with whistling to read him with some pleasure. No very good play, / Sellinger's round ;' t observe with what solemnity nor possibly any very good scene, could be found | They keep their wakes, and throw for pewter candlein Shirley ; but he has many lines of considerable
sticks; beauty. Of these fine lines, Dr Farmer, in his | How they become the morris, with whose bells “Essay on the Learning of Shakspeare,' quoted per- | They ring all into Whitsun ales, and swear haps the most beautiful, being part of Fernando's | Through twenty scarfs and napkins, till the hobbyhorse description, in the • Brothers,' of the charms of his
Tire, and the Maid-Marian, dissolved to a jelly, mistress :
Be kept for spoon meat.
Stew. These, with your pardon, are no argument Her eye did seem to labour with a tear,
To make the country life appear so hateful; Which suddenly took birth, but overweigh’d,
| At least to your particular, who enjoy'd With its own swelling, dropt upon her bosom, A blessing in that calm, would you be pleas'd Which, by reflection of her light appear'u
To think so, and the pleasure of a kingdom : As nature meant her sorrow for an ornament. While your own will commanded what should move After, her looks grew cheerful, and I saw
Delights, your husband's love and power joined A smile shoot graceful upward from her eyes, To give your life more harmony. You liy'd there As if they had gain’d a victory o’er grief;
Secure and innocent, beloy'd of all; And with it many beams twisted themselves,
Prais'd for your hospitality, and pray'd for: Upon whose golden threads the angels walk
You might be envied, but malice knew To and again from heaven.
Not where you dwelt.-I would not prophesy, In the same vein of delicate fancy and feeling is the
But leave to your own apprehension
What inay succeed your change. following passage in the Grateful Servant, where
Arct. You do imagine, Cleona learns of the existence of Foscari, from her
No doubt, you have talk'd wisely, and confuted page Dulcino:
London past all defence. Your master should
Enter Sir Thomas BORNWELL.
Born. How now, what's the matter ?
Aret. I am angry with myself, Is he in perfect health ?
To be so miserably restrain'd in things Dud. Not perfect, madam,
Wherein it doth concern your love and honour Until you bless himn with the knowledge of
To see me satisfied.
Born. In what, Aretina,
Dost thou accuse me? Have I not obeyed
All thy desires against mine own opinion ? Which, with his memory richer than all spices,
Quitted the country, and remov'd the hope Disperses odours round about my soul,
Of our return by sale of that fair lordship And did refresh it when 'twas dull and sad,
We liv'd in; chang'd a calm and retir'd life With thinking of his absence.
For this wild town, compos’d of noise and charge ? - Yet stay,
Aret. What charge more than is necessary
For a lady of my birth and education ?
Born. I am not ignorant how much nobility
Flows in your blood ; your kinsmen, great and powerful He will soon save that question by his presence.
l'th' state, but with this lose not your memory Cle. Time has no feathers ; he walks now on
Of being my wife. I shall be studious, crutches. Relate his gestures when he gave thee this.
Madam, to give the dignity of your birth What other words? Did mirth smile on his brow?
All the best ornaments which become my fortune,
But would not flatter it to ruin both,
And be the fable of the town, to teach
Other men loss of wit by mine, employed
To serve your vast expenses.
Aret. Am I then
Brought in the balance so, sir ? curtain
Born. Though you weigh When he declineth, opens it again
Me in a partial scale, my heart is honest, At his fair rising : with my parting lord
And must take liberty to think you have I clos'd all my delight ; till his approach
Obeyed no modest counsel to affect,
Nay study, ways of pride and costly ceremony,
Of this Italian master and that Dutchinan's;
Your mighty looking-glasses, like artillery,
Brought home on engines ; the superfluous plate
Antique and novel; vanities of tires;
Fourscore pound suppers for my lord, your kinsman;
| Banquets for t’other lady, aunt and cousins ; sure. Aret. 'Tis that I came to town for ; I would not
1 A favourite though homely dance of those days, taking its Endure again the country conversation
title from an actor named St Leger.